Although Justin Bieber is well known for being highly attentive to his fans throughout his career, a recent occasion when he declined to take photos with a group of girls is currently being covered in the press as if the singer committed Murder One.
With this latest non-story, TMZ, MailOnline, and the rest, raised the ante with headlines claiming one girl started crying as a result of the rebuffed photo-op with the Biebs.
It’s actually difficult to see if that’s true, as the fan had her back to the camera. Which, in itself, tells us definitive statements that she was crying, are guesswork.
Somewhat conveniently, none of these outlets pointed out the dialogue at the end of the video linked below, in which a woman — who is described as a “mother” in news reports (there doesn’t seem to be any evidence to substantiate that), but who comes across as a paparazzo — can be heard coaching the girls to cry on camera.
“O.K. Let’s see you guys cry now,” the out-of-shot female tells the group of fans outside a New York City hotel.
It’s more than a little weird that few in the press are talking about that part of the video, especially as it suggests the woman’s running commentary was intended to play to a wider gallery than just the group.
The woman’s agitating jibes about Bieber — in particular, her reference to his new single “What Do You Mean?” — don’t parse as the kind of remarks a normal soccer mom would say. It’s also clear that she is the one filming the minor incident.
Take a look for yourselves at the video below and pay attention to the woman’s bizarre command at the end.
In the video, Bieber and his team are seen quickly exiting the NYC hotel. The singer, who looks as if his crew are in a hurry, seems to acknowledge the waiting girls with a wave, but gets straight into the back of an SUV outside on a busy street as a team member closes the passenger door.
The five girls, who supposedly waited hours to catch a glimpse of the heartthrob, are seen standing on a sidewalk.
“That’s it?” One of the girls can be heard complaining. The fans then moved closer to the SUV while one insistently asked, “Justin, can we take a picture real quick?” despite the vehicle door being shut. Seconds later, Bieber opened the SUV door and called out to someone by the name of Chester.
At the same time, the girls continue to badger Bieber with requests for pictures. At that point, the clearly irritated Canadian singer turned to one of the girls, held up a finger and said, “Yo, I’m talking to someone. Relax!” He then shut the door of the SUV.
Almost immediately, the woman urged the fans, “Remember next time when you go to buy the record,” referring to Bieber’s new single.
Hearing this, none of the girls responds to the woman as if they are related to her — or even know her.
Meanwhile, as the fans milled about the sidewalk, the woman went on to slam Bieber, whose SUV had since left. The woman called the superstar “mean” and “rude,” before telling someone who is also off-camera that the girls had supposedly been waiting outside the hotel since 8 a.m.
The woman then walked closer to the fans with her camera-fitted device, and tells the girls,”O.K. Lets see you guys cry now.”
In response, one of the fans turned her back to the woman. Possibly because she was crying, or simply didn’t want to be filmed.
So here’s the thing: Bieber is known for being “real” with his fans, and is also known to prefer interacting with them when paparazzi aren’t involved.
In the NYC video, it looked as though Bieber’s convoy was in a hurry to get to somewhere, and the girls’ encounter with him came at a bad time. In addition, there are countless examples of Bieber going out to his way to ensure fans get pictures, hugs, autographs, even food, iPhones, and tickets to shows.
However, it’s unrealistic to expect Bieber, or any celebrity to be “on” 24/7 and live their lives as if it’s one long meet and greet.
It’s no surprise to see that most of the media’s reporting on this item has been damning and over-the-top. Even the most naive media consumer will be aware that the press has struggled throughout 2015 to continue its clickbait, negative narrative on Bieber, who isn’t getting into trouble any more.
Since the start of the year, the Biebs has repeatedly apologized for things which many others have done.
He also reached out to fans on social media. He’s shared inspirational quotes. He’s talked about finding his “peace” by developing a relationship with God and letting go of “knuckleheads” from his inner circle. He’s highlighted the longstanding charity work he does. And, with his tears at the recent MTV VMAs, he showed the world that he is afraid of rejection and wants to be loved and accepted.
While some observers didn’t buy Bieber’s burst of emotion, many did, and the singer’s comeback surged forward to a Hot 100 No. 1 debut for “What Do You Mean?” and the history books.
The other kind, by far the minority, views Bieber’s past missteps with a compassionate perspective that understands how difficult it must be to live one’s teen years to young adulthood on public blast — where you’re only as as good as the last fan selfie you take, or private acoustic show you give.
[Images via Getty Images]